History Book Reviews

COVENTRY by Frederick Taylor
Released: Nov. 14, 2015

"A superb portrait of some of the realities of World War II and the increasingly destructive technology created during that time."
Taylor (Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany, 2011, etc.) exposes one of the 20th century's most savage military innovations, aerial bombing, in a well-researched, engaging book about a vicious Luftwaffe bombing in England at the beginning of World War II.Read full book review >
BATTLING THE GODS by Tim Whitmarsh
Released: Nov. 13, 2015

"Though not for those seeking a light read, this is a seminal work on the subject, to be studied, reread, and referenced."
Whitmarsh (Greek Culture/Univ. of Cambridge; Beyond the Second Sophistic: Adventures in Greek Postclassicism, 2013, etc.) explores the evolution of atheism from Homer to the Roman Empire.Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 11, 2015

"An important book that warrants a place at the forefront of Prohibition histories. General readers will love it, and scholars will find much to ponder."
The surprising ways in which a failed social experiment helped shape modern America. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH by Lisa Hilton
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Mildly revisionist, well-argued, and thoroughly satisfying."
There is no shortage of biographies of Britain's Elizabeth I (1533-1603), but readers should pay attention to this thoughtful, often ingenious account. Read full book review >
S.P.Q.R. by Mary Beard
Released: Nov. 9, 2015

"Beard's enthusiasm for her subject is infectious and is well-reflected in her clever, thoroughly enjoyable style of writing. Lovers of Roman history will revel in this work, and new students will quickly become devotees."
The acclaimed classicist delivers a massive history of ancient Rome, which "continues to underpin Western culture and politics, what we write and how we see the world, and our place in it." Read full book review >

ABBA EBAN by Asaf Siniver
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Based on interviews with dozens of people and research in more than 20 archival collections, Siniver's sympathetic, cleareyed biography deserves to be called definitive."
The biography of a defender of Israel who advocated diplomacy over war. Read full book review >
THE NEW THREAT by Jason Burke
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"General readers looking for a comprehensive guide to this serious global challenge will find this a rewarding, if sobering, read."
A concise summary of the background and present state of Islamic militancy. Read full book review >
THE WHITE ROAD by Edmund de Waal
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"De Waal's poetically recounted journey is a revelation, as well: of the power of obsession and the lust for purity."
A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation. Read full book review >
ARDENNES 1944 by Antony Beevor
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Essential reading for anyone interested in World War II."
Award-winning military historian Beevor (The Second World War, 2012, etc.) examines the Battle of the Bulge in-depth, with a detailed order of battle for all the combatants, a full array of maps, and extensive quotations from original sources, including secretly taped comments by German officers in British POW camps.Read full book review >
ST. MARKS IS DEAD by Ada Calhoun
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"Rather than a nostalgic lament, this revelatory book celebrates an indelible cultural imprint."
An illuminating stroll through the decades of one of the most culturally significant streets in America. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Winchester's passionate research—on sea and land—undergirds this superb analysis of a world wonder that we seem hellbent on damaging."
The preternaturally curious writer about everything from the Oxford English Dictionary to volcanoes to the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, 2010, etc.) returns with a series of high-resolution literary snapshots of the Pacific Ocean.Read full book review >
CLEMENTINE by Sonia Purnell
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A riveting, illuminating life of a remarkable woman."
The biography of Winston Churchill's unfailing champion. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >